Are they bored yet? Have they beaten each other up, painted the cat, flooded the bathroom and driven you mad with pleas for outings/sweets/Netflix or a new computer game?
Summer holidays are such fun.
Estimates on how much it costs to entertain children over the holidays range from £600 to £7,000 (£7,000 per child? Who ARE these people?). But the idea of “entertaining” children over the holidays would have been totally alien to earlier generations, when children were just turfed outside with a jam sandwich and told to get on with it.
There were no childcare problems because children looked after themselves.
Sometimes they played games but quite often they spent their days just mucking about.
Whatever happened to “mucking about”?
Children now barely pass a moment without adult supervision. But that doesn’t mean we have to provide non-stop entertainment, like manic hi-de-hi Redcoats.
A little boredom does no harm. In fact, it’s positively beneficial.
Coping with boredom is a vital life skill that we should help them develop from an early age. Call it mindfulness if it makes you feel better.
True, it can backfire. A friend who left her bored sons for a an hour or so came back to find them lighting a fire on the kitchen table “to see if it works.” It did.
Grown ups find it hard to cope with boredom – especially without their phones – so children definitely need more practice. If you can shut your ears to their whining you’ll be doing them a favour.
And saving yourself a fortune. It might inspire them to read a book, write a book, invent a game or dig an elephant trap. Or just learn how to cope.
Turf them outside and let them “muck about” without you.
But better keep a close eye on the kitchen table.…